It wasn’t always easy to please his big bosses at Google in Mountain View, says Chef Charlie Ayers, who was hired as employee #53.
After all, back in 1999-2004, those guys working there weren’t exactly big-time foodies. Google co-founder Larry Page had a thing for Subway sandwiches, and for some reason, a vehement dislike of jerky. Even free-range, artisan-made, bison jerky, which Ayers learned about the hard way.
Ayers once put some out in the free-snacks area, and the engineers gorged themselves on it. But the next day, Ayers found the remainder of the jerky on his desk. “Larry didn’t want me to serve it,” Ayers says. “The only thing he said was, ‘I don’t like it.’ I thought, ‘Okayyyyy….I’ll just figure that one out on my own.”
Then there was the time he thought his bonus check had a mistake in it. He thought there were too many zeroes in it. Ayers’ bonus was tied directly to the number of employees who stayed on campus to eat. So Ayers asked his boss, who looked over the check and said, “This is correct. And if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, there will be plenty more where that came from.”
Ayers wasn’t the only one who was incredulous. His sous chef also thought the bonus check he had received must be wrong. He showed it to Ayers who deadpanned, “No, this is correct. And if you keep doing what you’ve been doing, there will be plenty more where that came from.”
Enjoy more fun with Ayers in my column, “A Girl’s Gotta Eat” in today’s Metro. Read all about his newest project, the eco-friendly Calafia Cafe and Market A Go Go in the Palo Alto Town & Country Village, which is expected to open in November.
(Note: Because the Metro is late in posting the column on its online site, the column also appears at the end of this FoodGal posting, right after the recipe.)
For those who want to turn up the heat while reading, here’s a fiery recipe from Ayers’ new cookbook,
“Food 2.0, Secrets From the Chef Who Fed Google” (DK Publishing).
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